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Lamar Peters: Former Mississippi State Bulldog’s Journey To NBA Leads Him To New York

Peters discusses what skills he picked up at Mississippi State that helped him get adjusted to the professional game and more.

Santa Cruz Warriors v Westchester Knicks Photo by Alex Nahorniak-Svenskio/NBAE via Getty Images

Every basketball player aspires to play at the highest level. The NBA Draft is the start of a player’s journey to living out his dream. Lamar Peters’ first chapter of his professional career has taken him to the NBA G League.

Before arriving in the Big Apple, Peters spent three years at Mississippi State where he played a role in assisting the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament during the 2018-19 campaign. He posted collegiate career highs in points (11.9), assists (5.1), steals (1.7), field goal percentage (39.8), and three-point percentage (38.6) as a junior. The Mississippi State product picked up certain skills in the collegiate game that helped him get adjusted to the professional game.

“With Coach Howland showing me how to slow down and jump stop and get into the lane and just make plays for others,” Peters told Ridiculous Upside. “My whole life I’ve been a scorer, so that was the biggest thing. Just learn how to make plays for others and it worked so far.”

Peters signed with the New York Knicks and competed with the team in Summer League. He was with the team through Summer League and preseason before being waived by the team. That extended time in the organization helped him get acclimated to the team’s system, along with the positive influence the veterans provided.

“Just showing you the ropes because they try to do similar things on both teams,” Peters said. “Westchester and the New York Knicks, so it’s just a learning experience from training camp that led over to the other training camp. So it’s been really good from my experience.”

“Being around some of the guys that’s up there in the NBA,” Peters continued. “Getting the feel for the game and learning what they know to make the game easier, which helps. So I picked up a lot of things from those guys like Elfrid (Payton) and Marcus Morris. Just showing me the ropes. Telling me to be patient and things like that.”

The Mississippi State product joined the Westchester Knicks as an affiliate player and is in a great position to succeed. The NBAGL is one of the top leagues in the world and continues to be a stepping stone towards a successful career. Forty-two percent of players on NBA rosters have G League experience and Peters is looking to use the platform to get to the next level.

“Just being able to showcase your talent,” Peters said. “Come out every night to show what you can do. I’m just using this and capitalizing on it and not taking it for granted. I’m just bringing it every night.”

Peters has made a great contribution in Westchester, while continuing to evolve his game. His passing ability, improved perimeter game, and peskiness on defense has made him an asset in the Knicks’ rotation. One of the strides he took in his rookie season is with his three-point game. Peters shot 34.6 percent from deep in his three seasons at Mississippi State and that number has jumped to 40.5 percent in his rookie season.

Peters has shown his growth as a player through the early part of his rookie season, along with what he attributes to his success with his outside shot.

“Just learning that the game is different from college,” Peters said. “More spacing and knowing how long the games are. The NBA games are long. You might have a 20 point lead, but you really not up by 20. Just learning how to handle success and just keep playing hard.”

“I just go in the gym and try to get at least 500 makes so it’s just muscle memory,” he continued. “It’s just getting in the gym and keep working on it and just feel like it’s suppose to go in and everybody knows how much work I put in, so that’s the majority of it right there.”

The 21-year-old guard is nearly half way through his rookie season and has looked stellar on the court. While he has put himself in the discussion for an NBA call-up, Peters has his mind set on what he is looking to improve on and what he is looking to show NBA executives during his time in the G League.

“Just being a leader,” Peters said. “Getting my guys going and showing them I can knock down the three really well and see the floor and being a pest on the ball.”